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Make ahead Christmas Eve buffet?

(12 Posts)
WhatWouldLeoDo Thu 20-Oct-11 12:52:20

The PIL's are coming round on Christmas Eve for a couple of hours and we're planning to have a buffet tea. I usually work on Christmas Eve but won't this year because it's a Saturday so want to take the opportunity to have a nice festive day with the family rather than spending it in the kitchen. I'm looking for ideas for a make ahead buffet and DH is off for a week to the run up to Christmas so he could do all the prep

I'm already planning on getting a prepared ham to bung in the oven from M&S, but has anyone got any suggestions for anything we can prepare ahead to serve/heat up on the day? We don't need loads, but any leftovers will be useful for nibbles over the Christmas period.

jicky Thu 20-Oct-11 16:41:53

How many is it for, just 4 adults plus kids? Buffet seems like major effort for such a small number.

Think I would have a meal in the freezer that I had made in advance. This
fish pie is great maybe with chocolate fondants for pudding.

girlywhirly Thu 20-Oct-11 17:12:31

Ham, cheeses, chutneys/pickles, small jacket spuds, bought salads like coleslaw, crisps, cherry toms, celery, cucumber etc. Just put out what you need. Have some mince pies, cakes or trifle for puds.

If this is a buffet you won't need much if the main meal was at lunchtime.

WhatWouldLeoDo Thu 20-Oct-11 17:15:58

Yes, it's likely to be small but we could unexpectedly get SIL and BIL plus kids popping in too. It probably would be easier to do a meal in advance and freeze it, but a buffet would suit us better. They'll probably come round mid afternoon so something we could graze at would work well for us. We're being fed elsewhere both Christmas and Boxing Day so I'd quite like to get a big ham in and have some other leftovers for nibbles on Christmas Night/Boxing Day night when we get home because no matter how much we eat during the day we'll still feel a wee bit peckish when we get hom

We don't need lots of different things but a few bits and pieces that can be made in advance would be good. DH quite likes being in the kitchen anyway, so he'll be delighted if I present him with a list of things to do while he's on annual leave grin

So far I have on my list:

Ham (courtesy of M&S so no prep, just bung in the oven)
cocktail sausages with a sticky honey type glaze (I have a make ahead recipe somewhere)
Mini mince pies (can freeze ahead)
Cheesy star biscuits (can freeze ahead)
Mulled wine

branson Thu 20-Oct-11 17:19:03


SickleBOO Thu 20-Oct-11 17:21:28

You've GOT to do sausages/cheese/pineapple/pickled onions on toothpicks & rammed stuck into a foil covered potato grin

jicky Thu 20-Oct-11 18:08:51

Ok if you want buffet then include super cheese board - lots of nice bits as left overs. With French bread or biscuits.

Buy or make simple salads.

We usually have a game pie for Christmas buffet, topped with cranberries rather than more pastry. They freeze well, just don't add the gelatine until it is thawed.

A soup might be nice if it is cold, can be served in large hollowed out crusty bread rolls if you want.

Winter Pimms is lovely - mix it up with warm apple juice, children can just have warm apple juice, maybe with cinnamon sticks?

serin Thu 20-Oct-11 21:51:55

I would seriously suggest buying a few platters from MandS to go with your ham. They are amazingly good value and it would take for ever to prepare all the different sandwich fillings/canapes individually.

WhatWouldLeoDo Fri 21-Oct-11 11:13:37

You might have a point Serin...grin Thanks everyone, lots of helpful suggestions.

The game pie/cranberry suggestion has reminded me that I want to try the 'Christmas pie' from bbc good food so that's definitely going on the list!

zipzap Fri 21-Oct-11 11:31:53

Side of smoked salmon? They often come down to half price in the tun up to Xmas and freeze well.

GHAHSTLYGHOULYpants Fri 21-Oct-11 11:42:31

What about filled potato skins- retro I know- but you can make and freeze ahead and kids love them. I do chedder, chilli and bacon with a dollop of sour cream to serve.

olives, nuts, cheese board, cured meats, breads.

another good make ahead is a spinich, feta and filo pie ala Jamie Oliver. It is really tasty and can be served hot or cold with a nice big salad?

jicky Fri 21-Oct-11 21:52:07

The Christmas pie is really good, easy to make and looks impressive on a buffet.

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